Date of Conferral
Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)
In Nigeria, gender inequality significantly impacts women's knowledge and awareness of the transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the proliferation of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Early marriage, traditional beliefs, religion, and polygamy all contribute to gender inequality. This study explored the role of these and other sociocultural practices in the gender inequalities that increase vulnerability of contracting HIV/AIDS among women in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria. The study employed a phenomenological design, collected data through a semistructured interview approach, which was managed using NVivo software. The purposive sample comprised 20 female students from a college in Port Harcourt. This study's key findings correlated with other studies highlighting the interconnectedness of sociocultural practices responsible for increasing HIV/AIDS among Port Harcourt women. Other underlying findings included women's lack of economic power to achieve personal needs, such as access to HIV treatment, and the lack of skills to negotiate safe sex, which contributed to increased HIV/AIDS among women. Recommendations for further research include programs for reduction of gender inequality related to this HIV/AIDS outbreak. The implications for social change included adequate government funding to help provide available and accessible health services to women, promote safe sex conduct and education among the most vulnerable (women), and reduce HIV transmission from mother to child.